Pit bulls are some of the strongest dogs in the animal kingdom. Originally bred to be nannies to children, these power-packed pooches are loyal and very protective. Sometimes, their loyalty and protective nature can register to others as aggression, especially around other dogs, but are they? Do Pit Bulls get along with other dogs?
In most cases, happy and healthy Pit Bulls get along well with other dogs and can live in harmony with them for many years. But multi-dog families should always watch and accommodate their dogs properly to lower competition and the potential for fights.
Pit bulls are fierce human companions, but getting along with other dogs can be another story entirely. In this article, we will explore some interesting facts about Pit Bull traits that can affect their relationship with dogs, as well as some good training tips, so keep reading to find out if your Pit Bull can get along with other dogs.
Do Pit Bulls Get Along With Other Dogs?
Pit bulls are social animals and can get along well with other dogs. However, it is very important that you watch your Pit Bull during playtime with other dogs and react quickly to any signs of aggression that you see.
Rescued Pit Bulls can be scared and traumatized from their past events. You should not expect them to get along with other dogs immediately.
It may be a good idea to keep them from other dogs until a professional has deemed them ready to mingle with the pack after being properly trained and evaluated.
It is also a good idea to spay or neuter your dogs because this can greatly lower the possibility of hormonal aggression in all dogs, including Pit Bulls. Many Pit Bulls end up in the pound at a young age because of unwanted pregnancies, which can make them aggressive from years of neglect.
Do Pit Bulls Get Along with Other Dogs at the Dog Park?
Although most Pit Bulls do just fine in unpredictable environments with other dogs, other Pit Bulls can become stressed or feel attacked in all of the excitement.
Not every social situation is a good situation for your Pit Bull. Getting along with other dogs in a dog park, for example, may prove more difficult than getting along with dogs at a scheduled playdate.
This is because dogs at dog parks can be unpredictable, and the excitement of being around other dogs can escalate to aggressive behaviors toward your dog, which can start a fight if your Pit Bull’s tolerance for aggressive behavior runs out.
Likewise, as your dog gets excited about all of the new faces and personalities in the dog park, it can become overly excited. That excitement can sometimes turn into aggression or spark aggression in other dogs.
Scheduling Playdates are Better Than Going to Dog Parks.
Scheduled playdates, on the other hand, are usually calmer, more controlled environments that provide great opportunities for your Pit Bull to see some old friends.
Pit bulls get along best with other dogs they know or have known for a while, so socializing them in this environment can be safer for all dogs involved, especially if your dog is new to you and you are still learning his mannerisms.
Of course, fights between dogs can happen at any time, whether or not the dogs are comfortable with one another, but the possibility of a fight is lessened greatly in controlled social settings.
Do Pit Bulls Get Along with Other Dogs as In-Home Companions?
Pit bulls can be great companions to other dogs in the home, but there are a few good practices to ensure that your dogs get along with the least opportunity for conflict.
If you are planning to pair your Pit Bull with another dog, it is important to remember a few things that may help to keep your dogs happy and safe.
Controlling You Dog’s Routine Can Improve Aggression.
Controlling the routine and behavior of each dog in the house is important to establish a good, non-competitive dynamic. Take turns letting the dogs go first during daily activities like who gets their bowl first during feedings, who exits the door first for walks, or gets to take a car ride.
Keeping this alternate schedule will show the dogs that you do not show favorites and lower the dogs’ competition.
Crate training is a good way to provide your dog with a safe place to go when it is feeling overwhelmed. Feeding and giving your dog treats in the crate can also cut down on opportunities to fight over food or tasty snacks.
Will Pit Bulls Get Aggressive With Other Dogs?
It is difficult to say if a Pit Bull will get aggressive with other dogs. Pit bulls, like people, are all different, with different personalities, behavioral traits, and temperaments.
As a Pit Bull owner, understanding your Pit Bull’s personality and tolerance level for other dogs is important when you are thinking about how to socialize your dogs.
Some Pit Bulls can be more aggressive than others because of the specific breeding requirements of bad-faith breeders who wanted to create a perfect fighting dog, while other Pit Bulls were bred to be kind, protective, and loyal companions.
Whether or not a Pit Bull is aggressive to other dogs can depend on how it was bred and for what purpose.
Reduce the Opportunities for You Pit Bull to Fight Over Resources
With that said, no matter how your Pit Bull was bred or for what purpose, its aggression from one moment to another depends greatly on what is happening in the present. Controlling the circumstances of your Pit Bull’s routine with other in-house packmates can greatly reduce the aggression from your pitbull.
Reducing the opportunities for your Pit Bull to become competitive with other dogs over things like toys, space, food, or treats can also greatly reduce the chance of your Pit Bull becoming aggressive with other dogs or with other dogs becoming aggressive with your Pit Bull.
Do Pitbulls get along with Small Dogs?
Pit bulls can get along with small dogs and even become lifelong friends, but there are a few factors to consider when pairing Pit Bulls with smaller dogs.
Pit bulls are very playful animals and can safely enjoy wrestling and playing with dogs of their own size. But, sometimes, a Pit Bull may not know or understand its own strength and can hurt a smaller dog during play without realizing it.
It is always good practice to keep a close eye during playtime between your Pit Bull and a smaller dog to make sure that things don’t get out of hand.
If a small dog feels threatened by the rough play of a Pit Bull, it is possible and likely that they will become visibly and audibly aggressive, which can end badly for both animals.
Aggression From Small Dogs Can Trigger Pit Bulls
Small dogs, like chihuahuas, also have a tendency to be more aggressive towards larger dogs and can be more possessive of toys, treats, and attention. This can sometimes trigger or overwhelm a Pit Bull, who may have prominent breeding traits to hunt smaller animals, called a prey drive.
Breeders, over time, have been known to selectively breed dogs to hunt small animals. While not exclusive to them, these traits are found in Pit Bulls and can cause innocent play to become a lot more serious very quickly.
With that said, Pit Bulls are far less likely to attack a smaller animal they know than an animal they see just walking down the street, so as long as you are careful during your initial introductions, a fine friendship can occur between your Pit Bull and a smaller animal.
How To Train A Pit Bull To Get Along With Other Dogs
Although selective breeding may be a factor that contributes to your Pit Bull’s ability to get along with other dogs, it is not the ultimate deciding factor.
A well-trained Pit Bull can be taught to control their excitement and sometimes aggressive impulses, so they can form healthy bonds with other dogs. Here are a few ways you can train your Pit Bull to get along with other dogs.
Teaching Your Pit Bull Obedience Commands Helps with Impulse Control
Training your Pit Bull to perform basic commands like sitting, staying, laying down, or heeling can help your dog to learn to control those impulses that might make it tough to get along with other dogs.
Once your dog is trained to sit or lay down, you can use these commands to help your dog keep the focus on you when another dog is present.
Using a Muzzle Can Calm Your Pit Bull as They Encounter Another Dog
Muzzles tend to have a calming effect on many dogs who can otherwise become easily overwhelmed in unfamiliar or stressful environments.
Wire or silicone basket muzzles allow your dog to open their mouths to pant while simultaneously pressing lightly on the tops of their noses to keep them calm. \
If you worry that your Pit Bull may become aggressive during an exchange, with a small dog, for example, it might be a good idea to place a muzzle on them to keep everyone safe.
Conditioning Your Pit Bull with Positive Reinforcement Can Lower Aggression
If your Pit Bull tends to become aggressive when walking past other dogs, it could be helpful to train them using Pavlov’s conditioning methods to make your Pit Bull associate positive reinforcement with the presence of other dogs.
To do this, buy some special treats that your Pit Bull likes but doesn’t get during any other training sessions or at home. Orchestrate a scenario where you must walk past another dog.
As soon as your dog starts to get anxious, get their attention and give them the special treat when their attention is on you.
Basic Obedience Training Should Be Done First
It would be quicker and more effective if your Pit Bull is already trained in obedience commands like sit, stay, or heel to help snap their attention on you when they see the other dog approach.
Repeating this practice often and speaking calmly to your Pit Bull during the ordeal can help to speed up the training.
Teaching Avoidance Can Create A Non-Confrontational Pit-Bull
Some bad-faith breeders teach Pit Bulls never to avoid a fight, so some Pit Bulls are conditioned to replicate aggression when they see it from other dogs.
Whether you have a rescued fighting Pit Bull or a Pit Bull puppy, teaching avoidance is a good idea. By avoiding or preventing confrontation with other dogs, you can teach your dog that there are other ways to interact with dogs other than fighting.
Simply lead your dog away from a possible confrontation or stand in front of your Pit Bull, blocking their line of sight to the other dog.
This is a good time to start using conditioning techniques to reinforce avoidance as a positive experience for your Pit Bull. It is a valuable lesson that can jumpstart the process of introducing your Pit Bull to other ways of dealing with dogs that may be exhibiting aggressive behaviors of their own.
Positive Encounters on Neutral Ground Will Create Positive Reactions
When you are training your Pit Bull to get along with other dogs, there is nothing wrong with creating positive encounters with, what Cesar Millan would call, a well-balanced dog.
If you have a friend who has a mild-mannered dog, it would be a good idea to go for a walk together or let them interact in a secure, fenced-in enclosure.
This positive interaction can help condition or recondition your Pit Bull to understand that having a good time with another dog is also okay.
What Are The Best Companion Dogs for A Pitbull?
With proper training, responsible breeding habits, well-balanced meals, and plenty of exercise, Pit Bulls can get along with almost any dog, but there are some breeds that tend to fare better with Pit Bulls than others.
Golden Retrievers and Pit Bulls Have Similar Exercise Requirements
Golden Retrievers are middle to large breed and a great family dog, but like Pit Bulls, they have a ton of energy and need lots of daily exercise.
Golden Retrievers also don’t bark as much as other breeds, which can be great when trying to pair your Pit Bull with a non-threatening companion.
Golden Retrievers are relatively easy to train, they are usually mild-mannered, and they get along easily with other dogs, which pairs nicely with the needs of the Pit Bull.
Cocker Spaniel Provide the Gentle Touch Pit Bulls Need
Cocker Spaniels can be considered “small dogs,” especially compared to Pit Bulls, but what they lack in size, they more than make up for in energy and charisma.
Cocker Spaniels have gentle, easy-going personalities that make other dogs, including Pit Bulls, feel at ease.
Highly intelligent with an affectionate nature, Cocker Spaniels are easy to train and pair well with Pit Bulls.
Basset Hounds Has the Calm, Quiet Nature Pit Bulls Can Enjoy
Basset Hounds are natural pack hunters and love being with other dogs. They may have short legs, but they can go toe to toe with a Pit Bull during play because of their stocky build.
Basset Hounds are short with lower levels of energy than some of the companion choices on this list, but their calm, quiet nature can make them a perfect match for a Pit Bull.
The laid-back nature of a Basset Hound can provide a source of calm to the otherwise hectic life of a Pit Bull.
German Shepherd and Pit Bulls Can Be Friends for Life
German Shepherds are similar breeds of dogs to Pit Bulls. They both need plenty of training and a lot of exercise. They are intelligent and extremely loyal.
Although this may seem like a match made in heaven, their similarities can also make introducing these two breeds a slow and delicate process.
Both dogs can be a little skittish around other dogs, and they can both have a stubborn streak, but if you are able to pair them properly, they will be friends until the end.
Pairing your Pit Bull to the opposite sex and as young as possible may help with some of these personality issues.
Beagles are Gentle, Friendly, and Similar in Size to a Pit Bull
Much like the Basset Hounds, Beagles love the companionship of other dogs. They aren’t needy for resources or attention either and hardly ever claim possession of anything, which makes them perfect mates for a Pit Bull.
Being similar in size to the Pit Bull, Beagles can hold their own during playtime without making the Pit Bull feel threatened.
Unlike the Basset Hound, Beagles are nearly just as energetic as the Pit Bull. They are also very flexible when a part of the pack and are happy to let the Pit Bull lead the way.
English Foxhounds are Highly Adaptable to Pit Bull Personalities
Although English Foxhounds may bark more than a Pit Bull, it has a pack mentality similar to the Beagle and Basset Hound, making them highly adaptable to other dogs’ personalities.
It is really easy to train an English Foxhound, and their energy level is similar to the Pit Bulls’.
At about 75 pounds, the English Foxhound can hold its own against a Pit Bull during playtime, but its friendly and tolerant personality makes it very non-threatening to a Pit Bull.
Siberian Huskies Make for Cheerful and Easy-Going Playmates
Although Siberian Huskies like cold climates and constant grooming, they are extremely playful and loyal dogs who like to be in the company of other dogs.
Bred to pull sleds with their pack mates, Siberian Huskies adapt well to other dogs and adjust to the hierarchy that is set by the pack.
They are cheerful and easy-going animals that can keep pace with the Pit Bulls in strength and energy level.
Want To Train Your Dog With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your dog properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
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Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your dog completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
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Questions and Answers
Below are answers to a few questions we received about Pit Bulls.
Do Pitbulls Need Another Dog?
Pit Bulls do not need to be with another dog, but they do not like to be left alone. They can get lonely very easily if left by themselves for more than 4 to 6 hours as an adult and more than two hours as a puppy.
Because of this trait in Pit Bulls, if you are someone who is gone most of the day, it is better if your Pit Bull has a playmate to keep them company during the day to stave off depression or anxiety Pit Bulls can feel when alone.
Is a Pitbull a Dangerous Dog?
Pit Bulls were originally bred to look after and protect children, then breeders saw their traits of determination, loyalty, strength, and an eagerness to please their owner and started to breed them to hunt and fight.
With that said, Pit Bulls are not dangerous animals. The American Temperament Test Society tested the aggression of 931 Pit Bulls in 2017, and 87.4% of the Pit Bulls tested passed the test, outscoring the German Shepherd, the Basset Hound, the Beagle, the Jack Russell Terrier, and even the Yorkshire Terrier. All in all, they are not aggressive or dangerous dogs to have around other dogs or your family.
Pit Bulls are amazing animals with a bad reputation. Many breeders took advantage of Pit Bulls’ best qualities and created dogs that sometimes have skittish or aggressive personalities against other dogs.
But with proper training, plenty of food and exercise, and a stable environment, it is possible for Pit Bulls to get along with other dogs.
Getting your Pit Bull a compatible companion can not only calm the anxiety and loneliness your Pit Bull may feel when you are gone to work, but it can also provide your Pit Bull with a playmate that creates balance in the home.